M7A1 Buford Main Battle Tank
Country: United States of America
Designer/Builder: General Dynamics (Land Division)
Armament: 1x 120mm M360A Electro-Thermal Cannon
2x 12.7mm M3B MG (One Coaxial mounted)
1x 7.62mm M240 Coaxial MG
1x 40mm M29 AGL
The Buford is the US Armys replacement for the M1 Abrams series tank. Incorporating new armor, weapons, and battlefield management systems it matched only by the latest European designs. Development began in the early 2010s. US Army tankers were called in to give their opinions on what was required for the new tank. Lessons learned from battles in The Middle East and Central Asia plus the weaknesses of the Abrams were corrected in the M7.
At the center of the M7A1 is its new gun. The M360B is an electro-thermal gun which provides a much higher velocity for KEW rounds. It allows the Buford to defeat the latest in tank armor, in addition to smashing reinforced bunkers with HEDS rounds. Three machineguns and an automatic grenade launcher provide anti-infantry firepower unmatched by other tanks. This allows the M7 defeat any threat encountered from enemy tanks to swarms of insurgent fighters.
Improving upon systems first deployed in the M1A2 SEP, the Buford has the most advance battlefield management and fire control computers. Each tank can wirelessly communicate with another through the Inter-Vehicle Data System (IVDS). At the lowest levels the IVDS helps maintain unit cohesion and for officers the ability to get real time intelligence from unmanned and manned assets. In addition, air strikes, artillery support, and re-supply can be called for over the IVDS. Hardened battlecams with full NVG and FLIR abilities, give the Bufords tank commander a 360 degree battlefield view.
Production of the M7 is proceeding at rapid pace. All of the US Armys active Armored Cavalry Regiments along with the 1st Armored, 4th Infantry, 1st Cavalry Divisions have been equipped with Buford. Select units in Iraq and Georgia have used the M7 in combat. Among South Ossetian tankers, the M7 was known as the Thunder Maker. One Buford company destroyed over 30 Ossetian T-90s. The only tank that was capable of challenging the M7 was the Russian T-99 (A few were being used by Ossetian forces, believed to be crewed by Russian advisors.) When one M7A1 was hit by the powerful 152mm cannon on the Russian tank, it continued to fight with only moderate damage to its systems.
An idea for a future US tank. Thinking about doing the a British or German MBT next.